|Return to Professional Development for Research and Career Planning|
The Role of Posters
Posters are one of the vehicles for communicating your research to others and networking with other scientists. The poster itself is a visual aid for your conversation. The important part is conversation that you have with visitors. This is an excellent place to practice your "30 second elevator talk". Often visitors to a poster session are walking around tasting the selection and hoping to get a feel for the kind of research that is going on. Your first interaction with a visitor should be quick, welcoming and then giving them a one sentence description of the problem. If they seem interested you might ask "would you like to hear more", then give the 5 minute explanation using the graphics on the poster. Then ask "do you have any questions". As the presenter you have to determine the level of expertise and interest of the visitor. Remember that the poster is a conversation, you are sharing your work and visitors are sharing their work, and advice. Be sure to give the visitor openings to talk, this isn't the same thing as a conference presentation.
The poster itself needs to be visually interesting, and legible. It should include graphics that will help tell your story and which you will need to refer to when explaining. The text should provide enough explanation so that visitors can make sense of your work when you have stepped away or are engaged with other visitors. Resist the urge to put an entire research paper on the poster.